Sugary Drinks

This past week, I have been involved in a counselor training session for a camp. It’s basically one week out in the sun getting ready and prepared to handle to challenges of being a camp counselor for children with disabilities. It’s an outdoor facility located in Center Point, Texas, which is about an hour away from San Antonio. Being pretty hot there, especially during the summer months, camp encourages everyone to consume as much liquids as possible to stay hydrated. However, the water there tastes horrible, and camp oftentimes has a hard time getting its campers to drink plain water, which means that pretty much the only drink they offer there is sugary juice and sports drink mixes.

That right there, is problematic. In fact, I have a story to tell myself. For the entire week while I was there, I think I drank only one full cup of water. The rest was pretty much juice and sports drinks. As the week progressed, I noticed that my throat was becoming sore, and hurt whenever I swallowed. At first I thought I was just catching a cold, since there was a bug going around. But when I brought it up in a conversation with a couple of friends, they all complained of the same symptoms. One of my friends brought up the idea that it was because we were consuming so many sugary beverages. We all immediately agreed in unison, each serving of Gatorade probably had about 20 grams of sugar. Multiplied by the number of servings per day, that greatly exceeds recommended sugar intake.

So, my story is simple. If only one week of drinking sugary beverages can irritate my throat, imagine what a year of doing so could do to my body. We all know that sugar rots teeth, but sugar combined with the acidity in many sodas make it even worse, since the acid erodes enamel, which is a protective layer on the teeth that doesn’t grow back. Soda is also known to have severe effects on the esophagus, and most definitely the liver. I’ll talk more about it’s dangerous effects in a later post.

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